x

We are happy to announce that all trial registrations will now be issued DOIs (digital object identifiers). For more information, see here.
Opportunities to Improve the Expansion and Impact of Agricultural Lending in Mali
Last registered on July 08, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Opportunities to Improve the Expansion and Impact of Agricultural Lending in Mali
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000256
Initial registration date
July 08, 2016
Last updated
July 08, 2016 6:05 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Northwestern University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Yale University
PI Affiliation
Yale University
PI Affiliation
Ghent University
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2010-01-01
End date
2012-07-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We partnered with a microlender in Mali to randomize credit offers at the village level. In no-loan control villages, we gave cash grants to randomly selected households. These grants led to higher agricultural investments and profits, thus showing that liquidity constraints bind with respect to agricultural investment. In loan-villages, we gave grants to a random subset of farmers who (endogenously) did not borrow. These farmers have lower – in fact zero – marginal returns to the grants. Thus we find important heterogeneity in returns to investment and strong evidence that farmers with higher marginal returns to investment self-select into lending programs.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Beaman, Lori et al. 2016. " Opportunities to Improve the Expansion and Impact of Agricultural Lending in Mali ." AEA RCT Registry. July 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.256-2.0
Former Citation
Beaman, Lori et al. 2016. " Opportunities to Improve the Expansion and Impact of Agricultural Lending in Mali ." AEA RCT Registry. July 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/256/history/9330
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
At the start of the study, Soro Yiriwaso did not offer financial services in any of the study villages. Out of the main 200 study villages, Soro Yiriwaso began operations in 90 randomly selected villages. In these villages, officers promoted the ‘Prêt de campagne’ product, a group agricultural loan offered to women who form an association specifically for the purpose of receiving and managing the money. The loans averaged around 32,235 Francs CFA (65 USD), and were offered at the start of the planting season, to be repaid with interest after harvest.

Grants Treatment: A randomly selected group of farmers from the villages that were not offered the ‘Prêt de campagne’ product, as well as those from the ‘loan’ treatment group who did not receive a loan were provided with a grant of 40,000 Francs CFA (80 USD). These grants were given to both men and women before the planting season, with no restrictions on how and when they could spend the money.

Savings Treatment: Another randomly selected group of farmers from the villages that were not offered the ‘Prêt de campagne’ product were offered a savings product designed jointly by Soro Yiriwaso and IPA. The savings product required women to decide on a target savings amount and deposit plan immediately after the harvest season, but they were only allowed to withdraw savings at the beginning of the next planting season. A small non-cash bonus was given to women to incentivize adherence to the savings plan.

Fertilizer Treatment: In order to evaluate the returns to fertilizers, and why small-holder farmers do not use more fertilizers on their plots, 23 separate villages were randomly selected to receive grants of different amounts of fertilizer. Women farmers who cultivated rice in these villages were assigned to receive one of three different quantities of fertilizer: no fertilizer, the officially recommended quantity, or half of this recommended quantity.
Intervention Start Date
2010-07-01
Intervention End Date
2011-07-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Agricultural outcomes: Land cultivated, family labor, hired labor, fertilizer expenses, other chemicals expenses, total input expenses, value
output, and profits.

- Non‐agricultural outcomes: livestock ownership, owning a small business, consumption, financial savings, primary is
member of ROSCA, educational expenses, and medical expenses.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study takes place in the region of Sikasso, within the areas of Bougouni and Yanfolila, in southern Mali. In these areas, farmers grow cash crops like cotton, maize, sorghum, millet, and groundnuts. Soro Yiriwaso, is a microfinance institution in Mali whose mission is to increase economic opportunities for poor Malians, especially women, by offering financial services. Soro Yiriwaso offers a loan product called Prêt de Campagne, or “countryside loan,” to women who join local community associations. Unlike most microloan products, it is designed specifically for farmers. The loans are disbursed at the beginning of the agricultural cycle between May and July and clients must repay loans on one lump sum immediately after the harvest. Soro Yiriwaso issues the loan to groups of women organized into village associations. Each individual woman then establishes a contract with the association for her loan.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
A loop with a set of number of iterations randomly assigned villages to either loan or no‐loan, and then the PIs selected the random draw that minimized the t‐values for all pairwise othorgonality tests.
Randomization Unit
The randomization of the provision of grants was done at the household level, while the loan randomization was at the village level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
198 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
8,361 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment villages: 88 villages
Control villages: 110 villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The sample size was chosen based on extensive power calculations under the assumption that the minimum detectable effect size is .3 of a standard deviation for the agricultural loan. Based on other data available on Mali, we expected that to be a roughly 20% increase in per capita consumption. Under additional assumptions, we had an 85% probably that would detect this effect with a 5% significance level.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action
IRB Approval Date
2009-12-15
IRB Approval Number
167.09December-002
IRB Name
Yale University IRB
IRB Approval Date
2010-01-02
IRB Approval Number
1001006256
IRB Name
Northwestern University IRB
IRB Approval Date
2010-05-02
IRB Approval Number
STU00023200
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
July 01, 2011, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
July 01, 2011, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Attrition rate is low: approximately one percent each round.
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Loan vs no-loan villages:
Year 1: 6,926 observations
Year 2: 6,022 observations

Grants vs no-grants in no-loan villages:
Year 1: 3,201
Year 2: 2,779

Grants vs no-grants in loan villages:
Year 1: 2,448
Year 2: 2,118
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Loan vs no-loan villages: Year 1: 6,926 observations Year 2: 6,022 observations Grants vs no-grants in no-loan villages: Year 1: 3,201 Year 2: 2,779 Grants vs no-grants in loan villages: Year 1: 2,448 Year 2: 2,118
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No

This section is unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
We partnered with a microlender in Mali to randomize credit offers at the village level. Then, in no-loan control villages, we gave cash grants to randomly selected households. These grants led to higher agricultural investments and profits, thus showing that liquidity constraints bind with respect to agricultural investment. In loan-villages, we gave grants to a random subset of farmers who (endogenously) did not borrow. These farmers have lower – in fact zero – marginal returns to the grants. Thus we find important heterogeneity in returns to investment and strong evidence that farmers with higher marginal returns to investment self-select into lending programs.
Citation
Beaman, Lori, Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, and Christopher Udry. “Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali.” Working Paper, May 2015.